Procedures approved for county storm shelters

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

For Chilton County’s six storm shelters to be valuable to residents, they need to know when the shelters are open and what they can expect once they arrive.

The Chilton County Commission on Monday voted to allow Chairman Tim Mims to sign the “Community Storm Shelters Standard Operating Procedures.”

The procedures were developed by Bill Collum, director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency, and signed by Collum, Mims and 911 Director Dan Wright.

Collum said the procedures reiterated the system that was already in place but was a way of making sure everyone in the county is on board with how the shelters should be managed.

“It’s important so that there is no confusion about what we need to do and how we’re supposed to do it,” Collum said.

The procedures state that the shelters are under the control of fire departments. A list of names and contact information of all shelter managers—or people with the authority to open or close a shelter—will be maintained by each respective fire chief.

Each fire chief is also charged with maintaining a schedule of when each manager will be responsible for opening and operating the shelter. Copies of these lists are to be shared with Chilton County EMA and 911.

Storm shelters remain locked until the county is placed under a tornado watch, when the shelters are opened for use.

When a shelter is opened, a report is given to 911 and an announcement is made by a 911 dispatcher.

When the county is placed under a tornado warning, the shelter manager will man the shelter, once again reporting the status of the shelter to 911.

Shelter managers may close the shelters once all watches and warnings pertaining to the county are lifted.

The county’s shelters can be found at the following locations:

•Clanton City Hall. 505 Second Ave. N., Clanton.

•Maplesville. 120 Railroad St., Maplesville.

•Enterprise Fire Station. 6162 County Road 24, Verbena.

•West Chilton Fire Station. 2678 County Road 42, Jemison.

•Union Grove Fire Station. 11638 County Road 51, Jemison.

•East Chilton Fire Station. 5640 County Road 28, Clanton.